George Clooney has called on U.S. President Donald Trump and members of Congress to seize assets belonging to Sudanese military leaders for violently cracking down on peaceful pro-democracy protesters.
President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown and arrested following a military coup in April (19), ending a three-decade long rule, but demonstrators were not happy when his successor, General Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf, who is also Sudan's defence minister, announced a military council would run the country for two years.
Activists have been taking to the streets and demanding power be handed to the people, but army generals have been shutting down the marches, using deadly tactics to silence the protesters.
Now Clooney and John Prendergast, the co-founder of his humanitarian organisation The Sentry, have teamed up to write an op-ed in Politico, titled How Congress Can Help Stop the Killing in Sudan.
In the article, published on Tuesday (11Jun19), Clooney and Prendergast urge lawmakers, members of the Trump Administration, and global leaders to step up and intervene to prevent an escalation of mass violence, pointing to dirty money being laundered out of Sudan in recent weeks as one of the ways in which they can put pressure on Sudanese militia.
"Freezing and seizing some of those assets - and blocking some of these officials from the international financial system - would be a major and unutilized point of leverage for peace and human rights," they write.
"By creating significant financial consequences for regime leaders and their commercial collaborators, diplomats from Africa, Europe and the United States will be able to to influence the cost-benefit calculus of Khartoum's generals."
The Politico piece emerges as Tibor Nagy, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, prepares to travel to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum this week to meet with military leaders about the crisis.